The Invitation

The invitation was sent to me. I thought it must have been some kind of mistake. As I re-read the formal letter my name so beautifully engraved confirmed it was sent to the right place.

You have been carefully chosen to attend the masquerade ball. Requirements to attend the ball are as followed. Please carefully select a full costume with a facial mask that hides your identity. Come ready to enjoy your evening. At the stroke of midnight, you will be asked to reveal who you really are. All masks will be taken off and the real you will be announced.

The real me will be announced?I was uncomfortable with the thought. I struggled between excitement at who would be there and fear of the real me being revealed. I tried to put it out of my mind. I told myself don’t be worried, you got this. Soon the day arrived. I worked so hard at my disguise I was sure to play the part well, I had really done this my whole life but who would know?

The dress was made of silk the colors swirled of royal blue and silver. It fit perfect and flowed like a gown made for a queen. I felt beautiful and proud, fearless and bold. I took a deep breath and placed the mask over my face. Stepping toward the mirror I was surprised to find I did not recognize my own self. ” Perfect, ” my thoughts shouted. Drawing in to take a closer look my eyes were

looking back at me, quickly I moved passed the mirror toward the door I was uncomfortable with those feelings that wanted me to stop and feel my hearts cry. ” No, not now and not today.” I protested. The knock at the door was on time just as the invitation stated. The drive was long. I tried to adjust my mask but by now it felt more like my own skin.

Arriving at the palace gate I could feel my heart gripped with fear. I could see the reflection of the mask in the window my eyes traced the diamonds and glitter. ” You got this .” the voice in my head grew loud, my heartfelt faint. I entered at the top of the stairs the view was magnificent.

Soon I was captivated. I moved to the music, I roared with laughter throwing my head back as though I had not a care in the world. I drank the sweet wine, mingled with the unknown and before I knew it the clock struck midnight. The vibrations seem to shake me within. The room grew silent as the king entered.

One by one he called by name every soul that stood. My hands gripped tightly as his voice called mine and I stepped to take my place. I tried so gracefully to remove the mask but the struggle was for all to see. The king so gently reaches out his hand and helped set me free.

Adjusting my eyes into the crowd I wanting desperately to see myself to straighten out my look. No longer proud, my head hung down for there the real me stood. The greatest struggle in my life so privately held close was now exposed for all to see it’s what I feared the most. I saw no worth within myself, No value was I to be, for years I held this deep belief That no one would come for me. I was not worth crying for let alone dying for. Wanting back that mask. I could feel my knees weaken as the crowd whispered and gasped.

How could I have gone so long believing in my heart that I had once given him all of me but there I stood hand over heart letting him know he couldn’t have this part. The shame I bore from my childhood gave me lessons of such demise, they beat me, used me put a stamp on my heart that told the world I was worthless from the start.

It was in that moment that I realized, I could not separate pieces of myself and think I would become whole.

I felt the king moved toward me, tears streaming down my face with his strong gentle arms we embraced. His words were pure and lovely he sang over me and told me that he would heal my broken heart piece by piece. So on that day, I laid it down it was in him that I was found. True freedom came my way the day the invitation came.

My prayer for you my dear friend, Is that you will accept his invitation and lay down the mask you’ve been wearing and allow him to heal the deepest part of you.

His Grace is Alive,

~ Jamie

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